Dwan Edwards- Edwards has not produced any performance plays yet, but in the last two games he has seven and eight tackles respectively. In deeper leagues that are tackle-heavy, he is a nice pickup for spot starts. After all, he did average over 5 tackles per game last year before his year was cut short due to injury.
Osi Umenyiora- If you didn’t read our “Welcome Back” article last week, then you may have missed your chance to add Osi. However, on some remote chance that he is available in your league, go out and get him now. He is always a difference maker and he is good for sacks and forced fumbles all the time. With Justin Tuck in and out of the lineup, Osi will get his chances even with the emergence of Jason Pierre-Paul. In his first game back (while on a limited snap count), Osi had two sacks and a forced fumble. That should be par for the course for him.
Austen Lane- Lane was one of my favorite off-season picks as a sleeper for this year. As the year started he looked like a bust and it looked like I’d be way off. However, with Aaron Kampman’s lingering knee injury, Lane has received some solid playing time and is trying to make the most of it. He has 8 total tackles and a sack in the past two games and could be a decent pickup in deeper leagues or in dynasty leagues.
Daryl Smith- While many may consider his teammate Paul Posluszny to be a disappointment so far, Daryl Smith has quietly matched Poz’s production early this year. Poz has 30 tackles and four performance plays in 4 games while Smith now has 26 tackles and five performance plays in that time. Smith has been consistent in that time too with six, nine and seven tackles in his last three games. He also has five or more solo tackles in three straight games as well.
Ryan Kerrigan- It is rare to recommend rookie linebackers as a pickup. It is even rarer to recommend rookie 3-4 OLBs as a pickup. Kerrigan, however, is no ordinary player. He has 18 tackles, 2.5 sacks, three passes defensed, an interception and two forced fumbles and a touchdown in four games. For those scoring at home, that is 9.5 performance plays in four games. Through a quarter of the season, Kerrigan is actually outplaying his more heralded teammate Brian Orakpo. With four straight good games, he is worth a grab and a start going forward.
Jovan Belcher- Belcher now has 17 tackles (14 solo) in the last two games. While he will be a bit inconsistent this year, he will also have a lot of chances to rack up tackles as teams blow out the Chiefs and run the ball late in games. As such he is worth a look in middle-sized and deeper leagues.
Dashon Goldson- In his two games back now, Goldson has 18 total tackles (15 solo) and a pass defensed. He has been all over the field and offers better coverage than Donte Whitner. As such he is more versatile for the 49ers and he has chances to contribute in both run and pass support. He should be owned in just about all IDP leagues, and yet is available in many of them.
Marcus Trufant- Trufant has turned it up a notch in the past three games where he has tallied 21 tackles (18 solo) and also has an interception and two passes defensed as well. On the year he has defended a pass in three of four games and is providing a solid and stable diet of tackles for his fantasy owners. He has particular value in leagues that require starting CBs.
Jordan Babineaux- Chris Hope has been in and out of the lineup for the Titans so far this year and now there is word that he could be out another month or two with a broken arm. Babineaux has been solid in relief and has 13 tackles, an interception, pass defensed and a touchdown in the last two games. He looks to be locked in as the starting strong safety in Tennessee for the next 4-6 weeks or more, so feel free to add him in deeper leagues as a nice supplemental replacement.
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